cart SHOPPING CART You have 0 items

Discussion Forums

Search forums
Forum Index > Rifles general discussion > Good Day at the Range

Good Day at the Range

22 Jul 2016
@ 06:11 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Took a few long guns out for a stroll today. A little breezy early on, but it settled down in the afternoon. Wasn't working on accuracy loads so it really didn't matter.

The .30 cal surprised me. It gave up about 1 gr. less than book value, but it is older, somewhere in the late '70s early '80s. A little too light for me, it's an '06 on a Savage 110 in a Ramline stock. Was loaded with 165gr SST's in front of 58.5 grs. of IMR4831.

The .243 however, ate everything I fed it and wanted more. I finished breaking it in, I hope. Turns out this is going to be a very slow fouler. I put three through it, and cleaned it just in case. Very little copper either showing or on the patch. Carried on with the next 21 rounds and still very little showing. I would have to describe it as trace copper. But I ran a patch through it anyway.

The next ten were for pressure verification, and it took them in stride. Starting at 36.5gr. of IMR4831 up to 41.0gr behind the 105gr A-Max, and not one indicator. The same for the next eight, only these were loaded with 40.7gr - 44.0 gr of RL-19, with the same 105gr. A-Max. Again, no pressure signs.

And still, very little if any copper showing.

So, it was a good day for the .243, I get to reload a bunch more and try to find the high point. And even with the rounds not really built for accuracy, I got about 1.5" for the IMR, and except for a called flyer, got just under an inch with the Reloder.

I put one fouler through the .338WM, and the wind picked up to the point where trying to shoot groups would have been futile. So that was kind of disappointing.

But I did get all three sets of bases aligned. Now they are back where they should be, I can take them all off, re-install them and still be on zero. They are all bore/rough sighted so they hit centre at 100yds, so next time out I don't have to dick around.

The best part of the day though, was during a cease-fire, when one of the other members wandered over and started chatting. All was normal for the first two or three minutes, then he asked what I thought about the "new" magazine restrictions the RCMP just imposed on us, the poor shooting public. On and on he went, about this that and more. About how now the people who enforce the laws are writing them, blah blah blah louder louder blah blah blah. I suppose it was my fault for not mentioning to him, that the truck that just pulled up behind him had a local member of the ERT, and his son. It sure took him a long time to get his gear out, all the while not being able to help but hear the blah blah blah this guy was spouting off. I don't know. Maybe he did know who was behind him. After all, this is Canada, and we all have the right to voice our opinion. But the real kicker came when only the member and myself were left at the range, and I was packing up. The constable wandered over and asked if I knew the aforementioned gentleman. It was right then that all sorts of bells and whistles went off and I knew this was going to be good. No, I did not know him, why would you ask? Well, he says, for a guy that feels the gun laws are a waste of time and money, I'm thinking he may need a refresher on his license. Oh? I say, why's that? Well, says the constable, he left his rifle here.

Ya just gotta laugh.


27 Jul 2016
@ 04:39 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Good Day at the Range
Well......the .243 is definitely a slow fouler. I put another 18 rounds through it today trying to find that magical "maximum" load. Ten rounds: IMR 4831, 105gr A-Max; started at 41.0gr up to 45.5gr (.5gr increments) still no signs of excessive pressure. Eight rounds RL-19, same bullet: started at 44.0gr up to 47.5gr and again, no signs.

So tonight, will load up some more and keep going. Sooner or later, one will show me something.
27 Jul 2016
@ 02:39 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Good Day at the Range
I forgot to mention the most important fact:

These loads are way over book max. Do not use these loads in your rifle. This is not reloading information. These are experimental loads in a rifle designed for this purpose.[/u]DO NOT[u] use these loads unless you have started from loads listed in your manual and worked your way up. Always start at 10% less than maximum.
30 Jul 2016
@ 02:57 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Good Day at the Range
Finally got some pressure signs. Very slight change in primer appearance, not quite cratering,but enough to be visible, so I stopped. Velocities for the max loads for the 105gr. A-Max: IMR4831 = 3290fps; RL-19 = 3330fps.

First loads will decrease from max. by 0.2gr and continue down to 1.0gr. With any luck the sweet spot will be in there somewhere.

Also running the same procedure with the 95gr SST, and so far have had the same experience: have to load up another ten and go back to the range.
07 Sep 2016
@ 06:04 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Good Day at the Range
The weather was nice enough to co-operate today, so I took adavantage. Took the .243 and the .45-70. Mostly shooting the big one, looking for the elusive pressure signs, and as seems to be the case lately, none showed up. The final load out of the .45 was a full grain of IMR 4064 over the Hodgdon listing for the Ruger #1. For any of you who are not familiar with the loading for the .45-70, there are three distinct load classifications: mild (Trapdoor), medium (Marlin Lever) and hot (Ruger #1, #3). The difference in velocity from the top Trapdoor to the top Ruger load is around 300fps, depending on whose load info you use. I've found Hodgdon to be the more realistic in their loads as they start with any given powder where Hornady says stop. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but that's the way it is. Anyway, I couldn't get a real-time velocity as the chronograph picked today to fail about five minutes into the session. But using and extrapolating different load information, I estimate about 2125fps for the hottest load fired today. I was toying with the idea of loading up some more rounds and keep going, but after the beating I took today, I'm thinking this would not happen. As it turns out, the hottest load and the two loads under it show the most promise for accuracy, so I'll load a bunch of these and try them for consistency. Hopefully, the chrono will smarten up.

The .243 outperformed me. Trying to find the nodes proved to be too easy, as I now have five different loads to sort through, plus play with seating depth. I keep going back to the "bible" section on barrel fouling, thinking I've missed something, but to no avail. It is just a very slow fouler. Counting what went through it today, it's had 129 rounds through it. I cleaned it once somewhere around the 20 - 25 mark, don't really remember, and it is still showing just traces inside. The groups are there, not great somewhere around 1", but all laid out in nice triangles, sometimes with two touching. I guess I just have to keep going and see what happens. This is all with the 105gr A-Max. I also threw some 95gr SST's down the tube as pressure loads, but that gets so boring as nothing ever comes of it, except I have to reload more rounds. I suppose the alternative of having one do the unmentionable and scatter your gun everywhere would be no picnic, so boring would be the choice. Already four grains over book max, and it's still taking it in stride.

All in all, a good day's shooting. Met some good people, did a little clean up for the club, a good day.


We are a small, family run business, based out of Taranaki, New Zealand, who specialize in cartridge research and testing, and rifle accurizing.